MIDDLESEX COUNTY — Middlesex County municipalities, Sheriff’s Department, and Rutgers University will again participate in event designed to dispose of unused medication.
On Saturday, April 28, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. every municipality in Middlesex County, along with Rutgers University and the Family Courthouse, will provide the public another opportunity to prevent prescription and over-the-counter drug abuse and theft by ridding their homes of potentially dangerous expired, unused, and unwanted drugs.
Middlesex County residents are urged to clean out their medicine cabinets and bring their medications for disposal to sites available in their own municipality. A link to locate a collection site near you is now posted on the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) website at www.dea.gov. The service is free and anonymous, no questions asked.
Prescription drug abuse is rapidly becoming one of our nation’s greatest emerging drug problems and it is widely recognized that a majority of abused prescription drugs are obtained from home medicine cabinets. According to the 2011 Substance Abuse and Mental Health Administration’s National Survey on Drug Use and Health, more than seven million Americans currently abuse prescription drugs. Additionally, the survey reported for the third year in a row that prescription drugs are the second most abused drug category behind only marijuana.
The Coalition for Healthy Communities, an initiative of the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence (NCADD) of Middlesex County, Inc., is the lead organization assisting in the implementation of this event in Middlesex County.
Statewide, National Take-Back is sponsored by the Drug Enforcement Administration New Jersey Division, Partnership for a Drug Free New Jersey, the Office of the New Jersey Attorney General, the Governor’s Council on Alcoholism and Drug Abuse, the New Jersey Prevention Network, and the New Jersey Chiefs of Police Association. Members of local Students Against Destructive Decisions (SADD) will also participate.
This initiative addresses a vital public safety and public health issue. Medicines that languish in home cabinets are highly susceptible to diversion, misuse, and abuse. Rates of prescription drug abuse in the U.S. are alarmingly high, as are the number of accidental poisonings and overdoses due to these drugs. Studies show that a majority of abused prescription drugs are obtained from family and friends, including from the home medicine cabinet. In addition, Americans are now advised that their usual methods for disposing of unused medicine s—flushing them down the toilet or throwing them in the trash— posing potential safety and health hazards.
“If you have unused or outdated prescription drugs, you may not see a danger in holding on to them. You may be giving someone an opportunity to access these drugs,” said Coalition Coordinator Linda Surks. “The results could be devastating.”
Prescriptions collected during National Take-Back will be taken to a central location to be incinerated. Anyone seeking additional information or volunteer opportunities for National Take-Back in Middlesex County should contact Linda Surks at 1-732-254-3344.
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